|Registration Number:||MGE 183P
|Chassis Type:||Ailsa B55-10
|Body Type And Seating:||Alexander AV H44/35F|
|Date New:||December 1975
|Original Operator (Fleet Number):||Greater Glasgow PTE (AV8)|
AV8 was new to GGPTE in 1975, a member of the second batch of 'AV's. The first batch were three prototypes with a more standard version of the AV body featuring peaked domes front and rear, albeit with panoramic windows, as fitted to Atlanteans with AL bodywork at that time. For this second batch, the bodywork was uniquely specified with the round domes, making the bus as similar to the Atlanteans as possible.
The Ailsa chassis was something of a rethink, being the first front-engined double-decker since the days of halfcabs. By using a turbocharger, a much smaller engine could be fitted between the driver and the front door which still gave a reasonably clear access, while considerably simplifying the mechanical layout of the vehicle.
GGPTE bought 18 Ailsas (with AV fleetnumbers), then 5 years later bought 133 more Volvo-Ailsas (with A fleetnumbers!), being one of the biggest operators of the type in the UK.
Of the original 18 AVs, half were destroyed in the Larkfield Depot fire of 1992 (AV3/5/6/11-5/7). AV10 was converted to single deck in 1985 after a low-bridge accident and became AS2. AV8 remained on fleet strength with 4 other AVs (plus AS2) until 1994, when it was sold to Black Prince of Morley, where it ran before entering preservation, eventually ending up at the GVVT on 19 May 2016.
Photos below show (1) AV8 in service in 1980 and (2) on arrival at Bridgeton Bus Garage.